Introduction of the nudging method in penitentiary facilities in Italy in view of food waste reduction: Preliminary data

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Vesna Milicevic
Rosa La Ginestra
Marta Castrica
Sabrina Ratti
Claudia M. Balzaretti
Giampaolo Colavita *
(*) Corresponding Author:
Giampaolo Colavita |


The aim of this study was to analyze different aspects of food waste in the specific context of prisons by introducing the nudging method, thanks to the collaboration of District House and Prison of Larino (Italy) involving staff and guests of the penitentiary structure, providing them with the knowledge of the topic and encouraging them to propose creative and effective solutions to prevent and reduce food waste. The study involved n. 50 participants out of total of about 200 prisoners. Data were collected using n.3 questionnaires related to the knowledge of food waste food, the second related to the origin of consumed and food waste and the third collected the participants’ proposals how to reduce food waste. The results show that effects of nudging has awakened the prisoners’ conscience about the social, ethical and economic importance of reducing food waste and a proactive attitude in providing proposals for the reduction of food waste. The most wasted food is bread (35%), pasta (27%) and fresh fruit (20%), provided by the administration because they are considered of inferior quality or prepared and cooked badly. The overwhelming majority (96%) of the participants showed sensitivity about the ethical and economic reasons behind the fight against food waste, making themselves available to contribute to its reduction and suggesting some initiatives. The data collected from the questionnaires related to the causes of waste indicate the need to implement actions aimed at the correct conservation of food and the promotion of good hygiene practices.

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Author Biography

Giampaolo Colavita, Dipartimento di Medicina e Scienze della Salute - Università degli Studi del Molise

Microbiologia latte, Microbiologia carne, milk safety, milk inspection, meat safety

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